Is He or Is He Not?

By Bella <>

Rated PG

Submitted May 23, 1998

Summary: What happens when Lois puts 2 and 2 together about Clark and Superman … and gets 13?

You know being under a lot of stress gives me some strange ideas … Time frame: first season, pre-Lex Luthor Legal stuff: Lois, Clark and Superman aren't mine. I'm only borrowing them for a short time. Comments: as always very appreciated.


The newsroom of the biggest newspaper on this planet, The Daily Planet, was buzzing with the noises of work and the anticipation of breaking the latest and hottest news in the world and in the world's biggest city, Metropolis. But in one corner silence reigned like a rock, washed around by waves of organised chaos. Lois Lane and Clark Kent sat over their latest story, a follow-up on the tsunami that had almost flooded Metropolis as a result of a misdirected military experiment if it hadn't been for Superman to stop the wave.

Perry White, the editor in chief of this newspaper and most feared and yet beloved man next to God in this building, directed his steps to his top reporting team. A tender and proud smile spread on his face as his gaze fell on the two dark heads, concentrating over Clark's monitor. Lois Lane, the more seasoned one in this new formed team typed off the sentences rapidly. Clark Kent, next to Lois the most promising rookie Perry White had ever encountered in his long and fulfilled career, watched his partner raptly and threw in a comment from time to time that caused a nod or a frown on the face of the attractive brunette next to him. Perry's face fell back to the I'm-GOD-in-this-room-mine. He couldn't let his reporters think that there was a soft, mushy core in him.

"Lois, Kent…"

The heads went up. "We're almost done, Mr. White," Clark answered the probable question of their editor.

"What's up, chief?" Lois knew her chief long enough to read Perry's expression. "Do you have a new assignment for me…us?"

Perry grinned. Indeed a new formed partnership. His loner had found a companion, who accepted and was accepted. "Yeah. You know we have in a few days the 'Miss World Elections'. One of our publishers managed to get the permission to interview the Misses. Your appointment is at noon at the Lexor Hotel where they are staying during the whole fuss."

Lois jumped up angrily from her chair. "Perry! How can you…? Why can't you send Cat? Oh, no. Let me guess. Cat's still in bed this morning after a tiring night of squeezing…"

Instead of noticing Lois' outburst, Perry observed the amused grin on Clark Kent's face. That boy had the right attitude when it came to dealing with Lois' temper. He focussed back on Lois. "Cat's already on another story, and I want you to do this assignment because I'm interested in the girls' motives, dreams and expectations. What they like and dislike about the elections, and I want an interview with the promoters. What they hope to gain by promoting 'Miss Elections.' You know the drill, Lois, and I want Clark to go with you. The female/male perception thing. It will fit in nicely in the weekend edition."

"Why can't you send Ralph and Monica?"

"I'd send them if I wanted to know the breast size of every Miss and who's their tailor, got it? Now finish this piece."

And with his Contradict-me-and-you're-going-to-cover-dogshows-for-the-rest-of- the-year-face Perry turned around to shake up another unsuspecting reporter.

"Great! Really great! What comes next? 'Lois, there's this dog show at the civic centre' or 'The theatre group of the Happy Days Old People's Home gives their annual performance on "Romeo and Juliet"!'" Lois let off steam.

"Come on, Lois, this isn't that bad. It could get quite interesting."

"I bet. That's *the* opportunity for you to get in touch with some beautiful women."

"Lois, Lois, Lois. You wound me. I've already told you I'm not your typical male." Clark was enjoying this immensely.

"Argh, shut up and let's finish this piece. The earlier I…we get on this elections things the earlier I can go back to serious journalism."


Lois observed her partner unobtrusively. A new level of respect established itself in her. After one of the promoters, Mr. Jeffries, had been excused by his secretary for the delay, caused by some trouble with the management of the Lexor Hotel that would house the elections as well, they had started immediately on the interviews with various Misses. Here they were, among the most beautiful women on Earth, and Clark was completely unfazed by the women around him. He did a thorough interview by chatting amiably with the Misses America, India and Norway, remaining a professional journalist. Even if Lois asked as many questions, he was clearly the centre of attention.

"Ms Lane, Mr. Kent, Mr. Jeffries is now at your disposal," the helpful secretary announced.

"Clark, go ahead. I'll finish this. I'm coming as soon as possible," Lois said to Clark.

He nodded and stood up, saying goodbye to the ladies. He followed the secretary out to Mr. Jeffries. The room seemed to be emptier all of a sudden. Lois hurried to finish the interviews to join Clark at Mr. Jeffries' temporary office at the hotel.

After she had expressed their thanks and said goodbye, she heard a collective sigh from the women as she headed for the door.

"What a kind man! Just a pity that he's gay."

"What?! What makes you think that?"

"Oh, come on. We were together for almost two hours, and he didn't look, even once, at our chests or legs or wherever. He just wasn't interested."

"Now that you mention it…I can't recall either."

"Well, one thing's a given. If he should ever want to reorientate himself, I'd love to help him." The round giggled.

Disgusted, Lois closed the door behind her. Really, once there's a man professional enough to ignore the baser instincts in the human race…*boom* he's automatically considered gay. Women had fought earnestly for about one century now to be regarded as human beings with brains that were capable of thinking seriously and developing independent views on life, not just being "things" that cooked, cleaned, raised children and gave themselves dutifully over to men's lust, and everything else was beyond their reach. By now, a large percentage of men had understood the message and respected women as equals, concentrating in business primarily on women's brains and not their breasts. Obviously it was still not all right. Shaking her head over the foolishness and immaturity of some women, she followed the directions to Mr. Jeffries' office.


Emerging out of the Planet's storage room next to the newsroom after a search for a fresh packet of pencils, Lois overheard another Cat attack on Clark.

"Come on, Clark. It'll be fun."

"Cat, no. What will happen, if I say 'yes'? I show up on your doorstep, expecting a big party, and you greet me, appearing to be so sorry, but all your other guests had to cancel the party miraculously on last minute's notice. It's just you and me and a chilled bottle of champagne you have purely accidentally in your fridge."

Lois scooted nearer to the corner to risk a short glance. Cat fiddled with Clark's tie, looking guilty. Clark looked down at her seriously, albeit compassionately.

"Cat, look. I really like you. You're intelligent, funny, and you embrace life like no one else I know. And under that flaky appearance is a warm and caring heart, but I'm just not attracted to you in this way. I'm sorry."

"Can…we be at least friends?"

"I'm already your friend, Cat."

Satisfied Lois turned the other way. Some women just didn't know when a battle was lost. She felt compassion for the rejected Cat, almost. After one look at her wrist watch and her notes, she realised it was later than expected and decided to keep on working at home.


An annoyed Lois shut her fridge with her foot after she had taken out the choco-choco-monster-chip ice-cream. Why couldn't she loose that stupid thought? And why did it bother her so much? Everything had been going fine. She had been reviewing her notes the better half of the evening, preparing everything for tomorrow, when she'd finish that article on the Misses with Clark. And *boom* Miss Spain's comment on Clark being gay had popped up and refused to go away. It was downright ridiculous to even think that Clark was gay! Yeah, and Superman was Mr. Joe Regular.

Okaaay, obviously she wouldn't be able to concentrate further on the election story before she had sorted this out for once and all. Disgusted with herself that she even considered it an issue, Lois took pen and paper for a list of pros and cons concerning Clark being gay. Swirling her tongue around the spoon filled with ice-cream she began to recall incidents with Clark Kent from the moment she had met him. During the story with Dr. Platt and the space station Prometheus he had tried to flirt with her. She could still recall their first shared meal and the heat he had instilled in her by his intent gaze. A con. Then his "I'm not your typical male" sentence when she had accused him of being partial towards Dr. Antoinette Baines because of her looks. Where should she write it down. Pro or con? A maybe?…hmph. She started another column. What then…the kiss on the plane of Bureau 39. He hadn't responded very enthusiastically to her. A pro. Wait…What if he had been just too surprised to act properly? A maybe then. Cat Grant, Miss-I-get-every-man-I- want. Clark had resisted her so far. Why? Just one answer. Lois noted Cat down in the pro-column. Following this train of thought she found Toni Taylor. Clark had taken her into his arms and kissed her passionately as a diversion for Lois' exit. A definitely con. As con as the kiss he had given her when the room maid had entered the bedroom in the honeymoon suite without knocking. A little voice spoke up, reminding her of Rock Hudson. From his movies no one would have ever guessed. Maybe Clark had just acted with Toni and her, too? Con or maybe? Maybe. Rachel Harris. He had been with her to his prom night. But they hadn't had the air of an ex-couple, more like pals. A pro. On the other side, who said you *had* to attend your prom night with your highschool sweetheart? Another maybe… A definite con was the way he had looked at the models when they had presented a new perfume in the newsroom. Lois shifted uncomfortably to an related incident she normally rather chose to forget. Her dance of the seven veils. Clark had resisted her. He just hadn't been attracted to her. But that didn't necessarily mean he was generally uninterested in women, just in her. And the next morning Clark had laid his arms around her, saying he'd be hers for the taking. So…where was this incident to be filed under? Pro? Con? Maybe? Sighing she wrote it down under con. And today. Clark had sat among the most beautiful women on Earth without batting an eyelid. She had seen it as professionalism. But what if he simply hadn't been interested in them, because…he preferred men? Lois looked over her list. One pro, a few cons and too much maybes. All it had got her were an inconclusive result and a slight headache. After storing the pitiful rest of her ice-cream in the fridge she went to bed, still annoyed with him and herself.


Clark felt on edge. The whole day he had laid under the close scrutiny of Lois Lane like a frog to be dissected in a lab. Oh, she tried to hide her behaviour, but he wasn't to be fooled. Whenever he looked up or turned around a pair of brown eyes darted hurriedly away from him to focus on something else. What was wrong with her?

Instead of following his words on the monitor, Lois looked pensively at Clark's profile. He always looked so neat, just like his apartment. So many big plants. He always fumbled with this tie, making sure it hung the right way down his chest, his clothes, always spotless. She reprimanded herself for thinking in prejudices. Was he or wasn't he? This not knowing for sure drove her up the wall.

"Clark, who do you think will become Miss World?"

Surprised Clark looked up. His hands stilled on the keyboard. "I don't know, Lois. I haven't thought about it yet. Why?"

"Oh, I think it's going to be Miss India. She's stunning, intelligent and funny. I'm just curious about your opinion."

Why did she look at him as if his life depended on his answer? "I think they're all wonderful inside and out."

"Come on, Clark. You *must* have a favourite."

"Lois, believe me, I've seen women as beautiful as them, and those were not participants on some beauty contest."

"On your travels, I assume?"

Where had this all come from all of a sudden? Lois wasn't intimidated by the beauties, or was she? Did she need to hear she was far more beautiful? "Yes. But the most beautiful woman inside and out I've ever seen, I met here in Metropolis."

"Really? Who's she?" Lois was surprised.

"You." Closing his eyes Clark waited for her to blow up. Lois didn't take it kindly when she got complimented on something else other than her brains and stories. Always suspecting some higher motives. Especially after this Claude guy. That much Clark had learned pretty fast.

But Lois was too confused to react in her usual way. If Clark had pulled a stunt like this yesterday before the interviews, she would have given him a piece or two of her mind. But now…? Things had changed. If Clark was really gay, then it would be just a compliment. He wouldn't try to get her into bed and use her for his own career by smooth talking. Giving him the benefit of doubt, she smiled and said thanks.

Clark was baffled. Lois sure did react strangely this day.


Nervously, but determined, Lois came out of the staircase leading up to the roof of Clark's building and headed for the few steps up to Clark's apartment on the roof. For the unusual clear, star sprinkled night sky above Metropolis she hadn't an eye to spare. After pacing up and down the last two hours, she had decided to just ask him. Clark had never said anything about his love life so maybe he wanted it to remain personal. She could understand and would respect that under normal circumstances, but now she needed to know. Wouldn't it be nice to hang out with him, having pizza and a movie on his couch, be real pals without her constantly fearing he'd take advantage of her in any way? Having a real friend for the first time of her life? He'd be like the big brother she had never had, but always secretly wished for.

The well-known low whooshing sound startled her. Superman had come for a visit. As much as she always looked forward to seeing him or meeting him, this time he'd disturb Lois' plans. Nevertheless she picked up her resolve and walked up the steps and knocked. The door opened to an unexpected view. Clark Kent in jeans and an unbuttoned shirt, exposing bare skin.

"Oh, hi, Lois. What's up? Has something happened?"

"I know it's late, but it's important. Can I come in? I've heard Superman's here as well."

"Ahm, no…yes…actually…he was here…but…"

Why was Clark stammering? Why was he denying Superman was there?" "Am I disturbing you in any way? You know, some male bonding?…Clark, what's wrong with you?"

"No, you're not disturbing…" Clark started to button up his shirt unobtrusively. Lois grinned. She had obviously caught the proper Mr. Kent on something not so proper…Her grin faded and her face flushed deeply as a stray thought entered her mind. Clark and…Superman?!? Lois had always thought herself very liberal. Obviously this had been an error, considering her urgent need to throw up. Her partner and her dream lover had an affair!

Clark looked confused but concerned. First moment she was nervous, then amused, then she blushed and now she looked decidedly ill. "Lois? You all right? Please come in. You look a bit pale."

"What? No…I'm fine."

"Come in and tell me what's so important that it couldn't wait till tomorrow."

"It's not that important. I…I have to go now…Sorry for disturbing you." Blindly Lois tumbled down the steps to run for the staircase. An even more worried Clark Kent looked after her, spun around and saw her home, unnoticed by her.


Still shocked, Lois locked the door behind her. Home. Safe haven. Automatically she headed for the ice-cream. A tremble passed over her whole body, and falling against the fridge, she felt the first tears streaming down her face. She dragged herself over to her bed. Curling up in fetal position she cried violently over Clark, Superman and mostly herself. Lois pushed herself up for the rest of her ice-cream. Soft knocking tore her out of her cocoon of despair. Clark had helplessly watched her crying. His heart ached as always, when Lois was miserable. Torn between the need to comfort her and the equal need to stay the stoic superhero, so nobody could make the connection Clark Kent=Superman, he had felt paralysed. Finally his need to comfort her had been stronger. Slowly Lois rose and walked over to her window. Opening it she greeted him tiredly with downcast eyes.

"Lois? I…Clark told me what happened. What's wrong? Maybe you can tell me, what you couldn't tell him? Can I help you in any way?"

Lois trembled, when she heard the concern and worry in his voice. He took her in his arms. Could she be wrong? Painfully wrong? After all she had no proof on anything. Maybe Clark had been already in bed when she and Superman had shown up. And maybe Superman didn't want everybody to know he visited Clark for his protection? With new hope she looked up when Superman lifted her face up with a gentle finger under her chin. Lois searched his eyes, so compassionate, so worried, so tender. But another picture formed in her mind. Superman bending over Clark with the same expression in his eyes… She needed to know. Desperately. She clutched at his suit and pleaded, "Tell me. Tell me it's not true!" Superman looked down into her troubled eyes. What had her shaken down to her core?

"What, Lois? What is true or not true?"

"Tell me that it's not true, that you and Clark are…" Lois couldn't say it loud.

Clark startled. Was it that? How did she figure out he was Superman? His mouth felt dry. "How…" his voice cracked. "How do you know?"

He hadn't denied it. He just wanted to know how she knew. So it was really true. A big black hole swallowed her. Dazed she answered him. "I figured it out just this evening."

Clark's mind provided the information she had left out. She had put two and two together when she had heard Superman flying in and him just changing. "I'm sorry, Lois, but I couldn't tell you at first. I couldn't know how you would react. After all, it's a pretty big story. I needed to protect myself, and now things somehow got out of hand. I still think you're not ready to know. I'm truly sorry. I know I must have hurt you."

Lois closed her eyes, slowly stepping out of his embrace. Clark let her go, unsure about everything. He had imagined things different. "Lois, I know this is awkward, but I *need* to know…Are you going to tell anybody about me?"

"I don't know. Probably not. Superman's reputation has to stay spotless for the sake of everybody." She looked into Superman's eyes. She read the plea for forgiveness, but also fear. "Please, go. I need to think this over."

"Yes, me, too. Lois, I really never meant to let it get so out of control. I thought it was a good idea when I came to Metropolis. All I wanted was to help people and have my private life private. Good night, Lois. I'll see you on Monday?"

Lois just waved her hand dimissively. He was gone.


While Clark was pacing up and down in his apartment, wondering what he should do now, thinking about the woman who held his fate in her delicate hands, weighing the alternatives, considering calling his parents to let them know the sky might tumble down on them, Lois had gone to bed. She was emotionally too drained to cry. Again all her dreams about love had shattered again. Superman hadn't denied it when she had asked him if he had an affair with Clark. Her dream lover was gay and in love with her best friend. What bitter irony. She laughed on the edge of hysteria when she thought of all those dreams of her and Superman as a romantic couple. All those fantasies. How he would rescue her again from the bad guys and a horrible fate, fly with her to some secluded, beautiful and romantic spot where he would hold her in his arms even more closely than usual, telling her with trembling voice how worried he'd been about her, that he wouldn't know what he'd do if something happened to her. How his eyes would betray his worries, but mostly his love and longing for her. Then he'd tell her how much he loved her. He'd kiss her tenderly, and she would tell him she loved and longed for him, too. Then they would make sweet and passionate love all night long. Wasted. Or how he'd come to her for shelter and help after being exposed to Kryptonite and therefore too weak even to walk. He'd stumble into her arms, and she would put him to bed and take care of him until he'd be better. Finally he would declare his love for her, and… yada yada yada. Probably he preferred to stumble into Clark's arms and bed, wouldn't he? Coming to think about it, Superman had never initiated a kiss. He had held her closely, caressed her cheek, but it had always been her kissing him. And where had Superman stayed during his ban? At Clark's. And when Superman had to leave Metropolis, who had quit his job? Clark. She clearly remembered herself saying, "you adore that man" to Clark. He didn't deny it, just looked as if everything had come to an end. After all, Clark was the only one who could contact Superman when it wasn't an emergency. He always got exclusive quotes. And it had been just a few days after Clark's arrival when Superman had come to Metropolis. Had they known each other even before? Clark had travelled a lot. Was it because of being gay he had left Smallville? People in little towns tended to be conservative when it came to sexual orientation. Maybe he would never have had the freedom to express himself that way? And just because Superman had told her once he was a man like she was a woman…didn't mean, he was as straight as she. After all, he was Kryptonian…whatever that meant sexually.


The whole day Lois had paced up and down her apartment. Till late Saturday afternoon she had raged against Clark and Superman. The feeling of hurt and betrayal sat too deep. When she was done with them, she raged against herself. How she could have been so stupid? And the embarrassment about how she had herself thrown at Superman flushed her cheeks deep red. Finally sheer exhaustion forced her to calm down. She couldn't change what had happened so far. On Sunday she moved forward and began to see things from their perspective. Each man had this own reasons to keep quiet about their special relationship. Superman couldn't afford to let his homosexuality get publicly known. And Clark? What did he fear? The "disgrace" that would fall upon his parents? Did they know at all? Maybe he wanted to spare his parents as long as he could. The pain to know that they would never become grandparents? Suddenly Lois was comfortable enough to grin. Some women in the business, Cat at top, would be pretty disappointed if they knew, but she wouldn't tell them. Not when Clark wasn't comfortable enough to even tell her. On Sunday evening she decided to confront him now.


Clark opened his door warily. What had he to expect? He didn't know. He never knew when it came to Lois Lane. That was a part of why he was so intrigued by her. Life was full of surprises around her, and usually he was looking forward to experience a new surprise just like when he had complimented her on her beauty, and she had accepted it. But right now, he'd give all his powers to know why Lois was knocking on his door late on a Sunday night and mostly what she had to say to him.

"Hi, Clark. I know it's already late. But…can we talk?"

Okay. Talking was relatively safe. Talking meant she wanted to understand. Clark stepped aside and let her in. Lois sat down on his couch, looking down at her hands, she thought about the best approach.

"Want to drink something?"

"What? Yes, please. Iced tea would be nice. That means if you have some. If not, I mean, you don't have to have some, I'd like just a glass of water. No…make that orange juice. Do you have some? I love orange juice. Did you know that? Probably not. I mean, come on, how important is it to know the favourite drink of your partner? Especially if it's freshly pressed out. But I guess, you don't have any oranges right now. It's not the time of the year. And those Californian…they're not bad, but…"


"…I always considered…"


"…oranges from Florida…"


"Huh? I'd like to have a glass of water, please." She snapped out of her tangent like the needle of a record-player jumped out of the scratch it was trapped in when you shook the record-player a bit.

Clark went to his kitchen counter. Normally he loved to follow her nervous babbling, but now he felt himself rather on the edge. "Okay, here you go."

Lois swallowed a large amount of water.

"Lois, why are you here?"

"I want to talk about…it. You threw a real mean curve ball at me, and now I want some answers."

"I'm sorry about that. And I'll repeat it as often as you need to hear it until you start to believe me. Okay, ask me. I'll answer as well as I can though I have so many questions about myself too."

"Clark, this isn't easy for me, either. I mean, I had elaborated quite a fantasy about Superman. No, I won't tell them. Leave some dignity to the situation. And when my suspicion got confirmed Friday night, I really was devastated. Humiliated. Embarrassed. Betrayed. Take every feeling of that level…I felt it. I'm still feeling those feelings. After I tired myself out —think that's possible?— I started to look at the situation from your point of view. After all, believe it or not, I've never been so close to someone like you."

"Lois, I don't believe that there are a lot of people like me," Clark observed with dry humour.

"That's not the point, Clark. The point is that I want, no need, to understand why you did what you did. You led me purposefully on…let me believe something that wasn't true. You knew I was infatuated with Superman…and you stayed silent, watched me making a fool out of myself. I can understand your unique situation, I really do, but I don't know if I can forgive you. But as I say, I need to understand."

"Believe me, Lois. It pained me so much to see you getting starry-eyed over Superman. I never made fun of you, but I didn't know if I could trust you with my secret. After all, for you, Superman was the biggest story ever. I couldn't know what you'd do if you knew everything."

"I guess I wouldn't have known either if I had been in your shoes," Lois stated in a moment of self reflection and honesty. "But we won't get very far if we stay on this road of accusation, apologies and guilt. When did you first discover that you weren't normal…I mean…special…Clark, PC sucks! Why can't we say anymore what we want to say without having constantly to fear what others will think about it when they think exactly the same, but don't have the guts to actually say it as it is? We've become a society of such hypocrites, living on euphemisms. A deaf person is still deaf, whether you call him deaf or auditory disabled. When did you discover you were…different from others?"

Despite the situation, he couldn't help but smile. "Well, I guess, it really showed when I entered puberty. My friends started to develop, and I did, too. But additionally I developed…slightly differently. It scared me half to death, and my parents hadn't had so little rest since I had been a baby."

"Your parents know?"

"Certainly, Lois. Don't you remember? They're the best. I don't want to know what would have become of me if they hadn't been there to keep me from freaking out over myself. They give me all their love and support. Sometimes it makes me feel guilty. I don't know how I can give them all this back. I can only try to be the best son ever."

Clark had sat down on the floor in front of Lois. Maybe she would feel less vulnerable if she was able to look down on him. Lois reached out to brush a lock out of his downcast face. She had never felt such compassion before. It had to be so difficult for them all. He had to feel so lonely among a bunch of straight friends.

"You must have felt pretty lonely back then, didn't you?"

"Yes. Imagine, just shortly before Mom and Dad had decided to tell me that they had adopted me, in a way, and then that. I felt like a monster."

"Oh, Clark. You can't help what you are."

"Yes, I know that now, but I raged against what I was for years. I wanted desperately to be like everybody else. I still do."


"So I've travelled around the globe for years, searching for a place to fit in. And now I think I finally have found this place where I can belong to. You don't know what that feels like. I have found a home."

Clark had lifted his eyes up to her. Lois' breath caught on the brightness and happiness she could read in them. She couldn't rip that off of him. If he loved Superman that much, and that was definitely something she could understand, she would respect this feeling. She felt a big rush of tenderness towards him. "It's okay, Clark. Really. I promise not to tell, ever. I won't take that home away from you."

"Thanks, Lois."

"You know, I can understand it. He makes me feel the same. Like coming home, when I'm in his arms."


"I mean, I never made it a secret, at least to you, that I was and am madly in love with him. Do you think he and I can still be friends like you and I?"

"Lois..?" Clark started cautiously. "…what are you talking about?"

"What 'what are you talking about?' I am talking about you and Superman."

"Yes. I know. At least I thought I knew."

"I don't know why you are so confused all of a sudden."

"I'm almost afraid to ask, but in what capacity are we talking about Superman and me?"

"Clark, hello? Is anybody in there?" She tapped on his head. "I'm talking about you and Superman being in love."


Lois looked wide-eyed at him. She had never seen a look of such bewilderment and something she couldn't quite identify. Clark on his part was torn between relief, embarrassment, laughter and crying.

"Sorry, Lois, but what on Earth had put this thought into your head?" Finally he started to laugh, because man needs an outlet when things become too much to handle.

Lois was hurt. She just had a very understanding heart to heart talk with her best friend, trying to accept it finally for good that Superman was already taken, and being very generous about it, stepping back in favour for her best and only real friend…and that friend started to laugh. "Clark, why are you laughing? I'm trying here to understand and accept that my partner is gay and in a romantic relationship with a good-doing alien who happens to be my big love as well." Hurt was seeping through every word.

"What? Oh, my god, and here I thought the whole time…All those fears for nothing…Lois, I'm sorry, but…" Booming laughter echoed again through the apartment. Grasping the rest of her ruffled dignity, Lois sat back stiffly and waited for Clark to calm down eventually.

"Okay, I'm calm now. Please, let me know, what made you think all this?"

"I gather, I'm wrong about all of this?"

"Lois, sorry, but you couldn't be farther away from the truth. Really, me and being gay!"

"You're not?"

"No. Heaven's no. I'm as straight as the next man…okay, that doesn't guarantee anything, let's say as…as…Casanova. And Superman is, too, believe me."

Lois felt relieved. So relieved that she even began to see the humour in the situation, and it calmed her to know that her first reaction had been the right one. A careful chuckle escaped her.

"I know, I should be offended, Lois. I thought, you'd know me better. You'd know Superman better. I still don't know what made you think that. Yes, Superman and I have a very special relationship…but not a romantic one!"

Slowly Lois started to tell Clark everything. She felt embarrassed as hell, but braved it out. "You know, Clark, after all, one question remains though. If you don't have a romantic relationship, then what kind of relationship do you have?"

Clark sat up on his knees. Caressing her cheek, he said in a low voice, "Not now, Lois. I can't tell you now. But some day, I'm gonna tell you everything. When you and I are really ready for it. Promise."



"Clark, do you have some orange juice?"